Last year, loot boxes filled the media with their controversy. Multiple countries such as Belgium and the Netherlands decided to take action against loot boxes by beginning investigations into the matter. Even Hawaii has taken action against loot boxes. The Federal Trade Commission decided near the end of last year to begin their own investigation into loot boxes to properly decide what course of action to take. It seems like the FTC, and more specifically senator Maggie Hassan, isn’t playing when it comes to loot boxes as now, this year, the FTC is planning to hold a public workshop on loot boxes later this year according to Variety.
FTC chairman Joseph Simons was the one to announce this workshop in a letter sent to Variety. Simmons did not state anything on the investigation that was discussed last year other than “nonpublic law enforcement efforts”, so it is still unknown whether or not the investigation was even started, as it is not public information. Simmons also writes in the letter the reasoning for the public workshop and what benefits it could provide.
We are currently planning a public workshop on loot boxes for later this year as one non-law enforcement option. A workshop could provide a forum for stakeholders representing wide-ranging perspectives, including consumer advocacy organizations, parent groups, and industry members
It’ll certainly be interesting to see where the public workshop goes and when it will occur this year. The stigma against lootboxes has been steadily growing for a while now and recently, video game aggregator OpenCritic has even begun to flag games with loot box elements. The regulation against this now-common gaming feature will certainly have developers act more cautiously when it comes to loot boxes. Only time will tell if the regulation and actions taken will solve the problem of loot boxes entirely, and hopefully the workshop will illuminate the matter for many.